McNair (1991) discusses the "proper compromises" made by junior auditors in large public accounting firms by arguing that the conflict between high-quality and low-cost auditing leads to "ethically ambivalent" behavior. Specifically, McNair provides evidence that success during the early stages of a public accounting career requires auditors to complete quality audits in an unreasonably short period of time. Completing quality audits within insufficient time constraints puts junior auditors in the following dilemma: report time truthfully and fail versus under-report time and succeed. We reevaluate this conflict approximately one decade after McNair's study and provide evidence that pressures toward "ethical ambivalence" have been reduced in public accounting firms.
|Publisher||Journal of Business Ethics|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2003|